“And my daughter went to the very same school 30 years later, and still about only 10 percent of the people in that same major were women,” she said.
Houlahan co-created the bipartisan Women in Stem Caucus as a way to address the shortage of women in math and engineering fields. According to its mission, the caucus “gives a permanent voice to women in the fields of (STEM) on Capitol Hill and encourages policy solutions that address the underrepresentation of women and other minorities in STEM education and careers.”
But that encouragement begins in the home. Houlahan offered specific advice for parents on how to encourage their girls to continue in math and engineering.
“Girls in particular are pretty hard on themselves. They feel as though if they’re not excellent and perfect at those areas, (then) they are not good at them,” she said. “(Affirm) with them that you can and you should be actively involved in those particular kinds of classes.”